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The Lord’s Indictment against Israel

Please hear what the Lord says:
    “Get up and make your case before the mountains,
        and let the hills listen to your voice.
Listen, you mountains, to the Lord’s argument!
    Listen, you[a] strong foundations of the earth,
because the Lord has a dispute with his people,
    and he will set out his case before Israel.

“My people, what have I done to you,
    and how have I offended you?
        Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
    and ransomed you from the house of slavery,
        sending Moses, Aaron, and Miriam into your presence.

“My people, recall how king Balak of Moab deliberated,
    and how Beor’s son Balaam counseled him from Shittim to Gilgal,
        so that you may know the righteousness of the Lord.”

The Nature of True Righteousness

How am I to present myself in the Lord’s presence
    and bow in the presence of the High God?
Should I present myself with burnt offerings,
    with year-old calves?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    or with endless[b] rivers of oil?
Am I to give my firstborn to pay for[c] my rebellion,
    the fruit of my body in exchange for[d] my soul?
He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good
    and what the Lord is requiring from you—
to act with justice,
    to treasure the Lord’s[e] gracious love,
        and to walk humbly in the company of your God.

A Call to Honest Business Practices

The voice of the Lord cries out to the city—
    wisdom fears your name:
        “Heed the rod, and the one who prepared it!
10 Are there still wicked treasures in the house of the wicked,
    along with deceitful and abominable measuring standards?[f]
11 Will I tolerate those who maintain deceptive standards[g]
    and who use deceitful weights in their business?[h]
12 Her rich people are filled with violence,
    and her inhabitants tell lies—
        their tongues speak deceitfully!

13 “Therefore I will make you ill when I attack you;
    I will bring you to ruin because of your offenses.
14 You’ll eat,
    but you won’t have enough;
        and hunger will be common among you.
You’ll horde things,
    but you won’t save them,
and what you preserve
    I’ll give over to the sword.
15 You’ll plant,
    but you won’t reap.
You’ll crush the olive harvest,
    but you’ll have no oil to anoint yourself.
You’ll tread out the grapes,
    but you’ll never drink wine.
16 You keep Omri’s[i] statutes
    and observe the customs of the house of Ahab.
Because you live according to their advice,
    I’ll make you desolate
        and turn your[j] inhabitants into an object of scorn.
Therefore you will bear the shame of my people.”


  1. Micah 6:2 The Heb. lacks Listen, you
  2. Micah 6:7 Lit. with ten thousand
  3. Micah 6:7 The Heb. lacks to pay for
  4. Micah 6:7 The Heb. lacks in exchange for
  5. Micah 6:8 The Heb. lacks the Lord’s
  6. Micah 6:10 Lit. with short, detestable ephahs
  7. Micah 6:11 Lit. maintain evil balances
  8. Micah 6:11 The Heb. lacks in their business
  9. Micah 6:16 I.e. King Omri of Israel, father of Ahab (cf. 2Kings 8:26; 2Chr 22:2)
  10. Micah 6:16 Lit. its

The Lord’s Case Against Israel

Listen to what the Lord says:

“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;(A)
    let the hills hear what you have to say.

“Hear,(B) you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;(C)
    listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case(D) against his people;
    he is lodging a charge(E) against Israel.

“My people, what have I done to you?
    How have I burdened(F) you?(G) Answer me.
I brought you up out of Egypt(H)
    and redeemed you from the land of slavery.(I)
I sent Moses(J) to lead you,
    also Aaron(K) and Miriam.(L)
My people, remember
    what Balak(M) king of Moab plotted
    and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim(N) to Gilgal,(O)
    that you may know the righteous acts(P) of the Lord.”

With what shall I come before(Q) the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?(R)
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,(S)
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?(T)
Shall I offer my firstborn(U) for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?(V)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly(W) and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a](X) with your God.(Y)

Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
    and to fear your name is wisdom—
    “Heed the rod(Z) and the One who appointed it.[b]
10 Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
    and the short ephah,[c] which is accursed?(AA)
11 Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,(AB)
    with a bag of false weights?(AC)
12 Your rich people are violent;(AD)
    your inhabitants are liars(AE)
    and their tongues speak deceitfully.(AF)
13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy(AG) you,
    to ruin[d] you because of your sins.
14 You will eat but not be satisfied;(AH)
    your stomach will still be empty.[e]
You will store up but save nothing,(AI)
    because what you save[f] I will give to the sword.
15 You will plant but not harvest;(AJ)
    you will press olives but not use the oil,
    you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.(AK)
16 You have observed the statutes of Omri(AL)
    and all the practices of Ahab’s(AM) house;
    you have followed their traditions.(AN)
Therefore I will give you over to ruin(AO)
    and your people to derision;
    you will bear the scorn(AP) of the nations.[g]


  1. Micah 6:8 Or prudently
  2. Micah 6:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  3. Micah 6:10 An ephah was a dry measure.
  4. Micah 6:13 Or Therefore, I will make you ill and destroy you; / I will ruin
  5. Micah 6:14 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  6. Micah 6:14 Or You will press toward birth but not give birth, / and what you bring to birth
  7. Micah 6:16 Septuagint; Hebrew scorn due my people

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